Reviews 2015

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Brooks Williams

Les Jones 27 November 2015

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Ok. So this is the first time I have written a review on someone for the second time. Brooks Williams was at the club on 20 June 2014. What should I do? Read last year’s review first. Yes. I have to say I liked it that much I thought of doing a simple “Copy and Paste” job on it. (To see if I did you will have to re-read last year’s yourself).

Before embarking on the review per se I have to mention the lack of water in the ladies’ loo. Why you say? Well it was a continuing theme throughout the night and cannot be ignored. If you want to know more than this, I am thinking of writing a separate piece on it later.

The night began as normal with two excellent performances from Barry and Corinne; who sang Dave Walmisley’s, "The Soldier" and Huw Williams’ "Castles" followed by Velvet Green who sang "Ruby Tuesday" and the John Denver classic "Leaving on a Jet Plane". There was a small confusion here about the first line to the third verse and I have to say that Velvet Green were badly let down by their off stage prompter. But enough of this.

Last year’s performance by Brooks was so brilliant you would have thought that this year’s could not compete; but it did and quite possibly surpassed it. Once again a wonderful mix of Americana and Blues. Some self-penned and some either by others or traditional. No matter what he played it sounded magnificent. Playing a beautiful Collings semi acoustic, a National Resonator and on occasion a mandolin. The whole audience was mesmerised by it. He played a total of nine songs in the first half each interspersed by a story about the song or his experiences on the road. No one wanted the set to end but it did.

After a short break Bryn Phillips delighted us with two more of his self-penned songs "Breakdown" and "Dark Cloud Rising", the chorus for which was swelled by the audience who were themselves in fine voice. (Have you noticed the audience never gets a mention for the effort they put in?).

The raffle followed; Brooks drew out the first ticket; his wife won but she turned down the Brooks Williams CD which would have been anybody else’s first choice. Strange that.

Brooks returned to the stage and after a brief interlude which featured his opinion on Dick van Dyke’s cockney accent (Don’t ask) and a suggestion from the floor to include Chim Chim Cheree in his repertoire. Brooks entertained again with another mix of humorous stories, slide guitar classics and several new songs from his latest CD due out shortly. After eight songs he was persuaded to play a superb rendition of Mercury Blues for an encore to end a tremendous evening.

Tonight Georgia USA came to Kingswinford via Cambridge and it was so welcome. This must not be the last time Brooks returns to the club and I for one will be waiting at the door when he does.